PORTLAND — A homeless man died in an accidental outdoor fire Saturday night – one of three major emergencies to which the Fire Department responded that day, City Hall spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said Sunday.
Investigators on Monday said Brian Barbour, 53, whose last known residence was on India Street, died after a candle ignited his tent near a stretch of Pan Am Railways tracks running along West Commercial Street.
The Office of the State Medical Examiner determined Barbour died from smoke inhalation, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Clegg said firefighters responded to a report of the fire just before midnight Saturday. As the blaze was being doused, the badly burned body of a man, eventually identified as Barbour, was discovered, along with the tent and personal belongings that had been destroyed. A small wooded area was also scorched.
Earlier on Saturday, at about 2:30 p.m., nearly half the Fire Department’s on-duty force was called to a fire in a remote area of Evergreen Cemetery, according to Clegg. Twenty firefighters were needed to extinguish the blaze, which consumed several acres of woodland.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, seven fire companies and a Medcu unit responded to an emergency call about smoke coming from the roof of a three-story apartment building at 29 Grant St., Clegg said.
Residents of the building were temporarily evacuated while firefighters ventilated the structure and secured a malfunctioning furnace, which was releasing dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gas.
Clegg did not report any injuries from either the Evergreen Cemetery or Grant Street episodes.
Portland firefighters extinguish a blaze in a remote wooded area of Evergreen Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, April 6.